Life at the end of the road

February 26, 2013

It really was that colour :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, The daily pothole — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:54 pm

This is going to be a lightning quick effort I’m afraid peeps, 19:40, we’ve just berthed at Tarbert on Harris and my eyes are killing me Sad smile Another total peach of a day here in the Minch with no sign of it coming to an end Smile if this goes on much longer we’ll be short of water Smile perhaps not for drinking but certainly for powering the house. With precious little wind ‘to boot’, it looks like Cyril could be required shortly Smile Cyril being my Lister SR2 6kW generator who’s never started ‘in anger’ since the autumn of last year. In fact, apart from the odd ‘test run’ I don’t think he’s started since September.

Anyway the day got off to a spectacular start around 7:00am when I noticed the sky through one of the TV screens in the engine control room. If it weren’t for these I really wouldn’t have a clue what was going on in the outside world. I’d already been down there for an hour assisting with the ‘start up’ when my eyes were drawn to the blood red sky astern. Not being strictly required for the continuing ‘pre flight checks’ I hot footed it up several flights of stairs to deck 4 for a nosy.


It really has not been ‘photo shopped’ or taken on the ‘creative setting’


Skye, some fifteen miles or more away lay under a crimson sky that should, according to the saying heralded a ‘sailors warning’ or was it a happy shepherd Smile I can never remember.


Sadly it was over all too quickly Sad smile



and I returned once more to the bowels of the ship.



My working day involved a little more ‘purifying’ a lot of sweeping and mopping several good meals a lot of running up and down stairs in a bid to work off some of my ‘middle aged spread’. Of course it would help if I just ate a little less but it’s so difficult to resist all the temptations laid out in the mess room. Today’s lunch was some baked salmon, potato wedges and salad, which of course came only four hours after a huge fry up and dinner at 17:00 was beef olives, mash, peas, spring rolls and cabbage. By the time I get on the Hallaig I’m going to be huge Sad smile

Coming out of Uig at 14:00 I went up to deck 5 to watch one of the FRC’s (fast rescue craft) being launched.

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It sure is a long way down to the sea Smile


Me, I was quite happy to be on the deck Smile

After another few hours ‘down below’ I poked my head up once more as we left Lochmaddy just before dinner time, now there’s a funny coincidence Smile



As we left, the trawler Rival II was just arriving


as was this catamaran called Harmony, I think.


Now this may, or may not be Trodday, I really must get a chart Smile


This will be ‘The daily pothole’, seven for the price of one Smile taken on Raasay just before the good weather and probably even deeper by now.


Map picture


Back to Kishorn

PhotographPhotograph (2)

Kindly forwarded to me by Kenny Millar, that’ll be him in the lifebelt Smile I’ll also put them on this from 2008 as it seems to get allot of ‘bear traffic’ Smile

Cheers Kenny.

February 25, 2013

Purified :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, The daily pothole — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:53 pm

Gosh, almost 21:30 and I’ve only just started typing, where has the day gone, well a good portion of it was spent cleaning an oil purifier but I won’t bore you with the details of that. Well, apart to say that the gunge that I removed from it would have filled at least one good sized Raasay pothole. In fact that is just what the muck from the purifier looks and smells like, bitumen, and it’s about the same consistency as the stuff the council use, only minus the stones Smile 

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That’ll be the one I was cleaning today on the left, though I did the hard bit underneath the shiny spinny thing Smile The ‘Third’ did the clever bit in the middle Smile The Finlaggan has four of them for lube oil, marine gas oil and the heavy fuel oil that the main engines run off, they need regular attention and are very messy Sad smile Reminds me of when I left school and started an apprenticeship at a garage, the apprentice always had the pleasure of under sealing the new cars Sad smile

Anyway, the day started off several miles and islands away from where I am now in North Uist, it began cold clear and frosty on Raasay with me struggling to wake up the Dude. For Monday had come around all too soon and both the boy and I would be leaving home once more for the week. He to the hostel and me to cabin 420 on the MV Finlaggan, the ‘holiday’ was over Sad smile It was only two days and three nights at home but it felt like a holiday, the weather was that good and we achieved so much.

Leaving home just after 7:00 we dawdled down ‘Calum’s road’ initially, soaking up the pink skies, long shadows and of course the potholes Sad smile


This beauty being a section known as A Lon Chomhnard, The flat bog, which these days is anything but flat Smile Less than a mile further on we came to the part of the road that crosses from east to west, I wont attempt its Gaelic name but it has something to do with ‘the men of Oscasig (maybe).


Map picture

I have always called this stretch of road ‘The valley of the eagle and the pee’ on account of me seeing a golden eagle there on my way to view when I bought it 23 years ago. I just stepped out of the car to take a leak when a golden eagle that was perched on a rock nearby took off right above me. Since then I’ve often seen both golden and sea eagles here but this fine morning there were FOUR sea eagles circling above and a kestrel hovering nearby. It’s no wonder we never see any rabbits nowadays Sad smile



The last few miles were a bit of a rush after all our sightseeing but we made the ferry with time to spare, whereupon the Dude exited the Land Rover with his bag and pretended not to know me Smile



Probably not much has changed in the thirty odd years since this picture was taken, well apart from one of those schoolboys being master of this ferry Smile another having a hand in building my house and another serving in the engine room with me Smile I think that photo of the Raasay children going off to school for the week with all their bags was taken around 1977 and came from the nowadays my son is the only ‘lodger’ at the hostel.


Forty minutes later I parked up in Uig and joined my ship for the week,


Ferguson’s ‘Harvest Anne’ was on the pier and the ferry marshalling lanes packed with cars. I enquired to the chap dealing with them all “what’s all the traffic about”, “twitchers” says he “apparently there’s a rare duck in town” Smile

 adult ♂, breeding 

You gotta laugh at its Latin name

(Histrionicus histrionicus) Smile 


When someone drives all they way from the south coast of England to see a duck, stays one night in a B&B then drives all the way back home the day after, then I’d say that was pretty ‘histrionical’ Smile .



There was/is more, but it’s almost 23:00 now and I’ve still got stuff to do, so I’ll just leave you with the evening sky over Kilmuir


and that lump of rock outside Uig Smile

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